Tracy Picha, Managing Editor
All-time fave read: Impossible to choose one, but I’ll start with The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien — one man’s account of his experiences in Vietnam. It’s a novel, but he’s clearly drawing from the wartime madness he endured. Incredible storytelling on one level and makes a beautiful argument for why stories are key to human existence.
Then there’s Gabriel Marquez’s Love in the Time of Cholera (I was so sorry to reach the end of that one).
For something completely different, William Leith’s The Hungry Years: Confessions of a Food Addict. I heard Leith read an excerpt about buttered toast (which made my mouth literally water), and then I went on to devour the rest of the book. He made me care about something I didn’t care about before. Now that’s writing!
Oh, and one more! The Art of Possibility by Rosamund Zander. Beautiful advice on how to change your own habits of mind.
Recommended must-read: Among the Thugs by Bill Buford — a brilliant piece of journalism not only for the personal, first-hand reporting techniques, but for its honest examination of the grey areas all journalists find themselves navigating.
Currently reading: A few on the go right now: Paper Tangos by J. M. Taylor (feeding my fascination with the tango right now — a very readable short history of the dance along with one woman’s experience of it); Alice Munro’s Runaway (even a paragraph is a good fix) and Sun Tzu’s The Art of War (if it’s good enough for Tony Soprano, it’s good enough for me).
Last read: Two Canadians: Katrina Onstad’s How Happy to Be (which is a terrific novel) and Alice Munro’s Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage. How does she manage to say all the stuff the rest of us can’t find words for? She’s a master.